The best weightlifters in the world are drawing battle lines. On Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, Bulgarian weightlifter Karlos Nasar posted a video to social media. 18-year-old Nasar clean & jerked 220 kilograms (485 pounds) — an unofficial Junior and Senior World Record lift in the 89-kilogram division.
Not only is this revelation a tremendous display of leg strength and overall athleticism; it’s also a declaration. In mid-December, Nasar will take the stage at the 2022 International Weightlifting Federation‘s (IWF) World Weightlifting Championships (WWC).
In Bogotá, Colombia where the event is to be held, Nasar will face off against emerging rival — and the current World Record holder in the clean & jerk — Antonino Pizzolato. Nasar is making a statement with this lift, which you can check out right here:
[Related: Weightlifter Hampton Morris Once Again Breaks Junior World Record Clean & Jerk]
Notably, Nasar didn’t specify in his caption when exactly he hit the big 220. Whether it’s a lift he hit on the day or is something he’s kept in the vault for a while is unclear. Regardless, it proves that the young Bulgarian has the strength to set a new record at Worlds.
The current 89-kilogram World Record clean & jerk stands at 217 kilograms (or 478.4 pounds). Pizzolato hit that lift at the 2022 European Weightlifting Championships, where he also defeated Nasar by a 10-kilogram margin in the Total. It was also a historical moment for Team Italy, as Pizzolato bagged a Senior World Record on behalf of his country for the first time in nearly a century.
Why It Matters
The 2022 WWC in Colombia is expected to be a convergence of fates — the competition marks both the first major stepping stone toward qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games and is also the first time the best weightlifters in the world will compete against one another in new weight categories.
Nasar won the WWC in 2021 at 81 kilograms. Pizzolato, additionally, competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021) in the same category, where he bagged a bronze medal.
However, the 81-kilogram division won’t be a competitive category at the 2024 Games. As a result, Nasar, Pizzolato, and others from adjacent classes are expected to shift to the 89s (which weren’t contested at the 2020 Games).
Nasar and Pizzolato have faced off before, most recently as 89-kilogram lifters at Europeans. However, Worlds may determine who will fill the power vacuum and emerge as the top dog in that class. Nasar revealing his 220-kilogram jerk only a few weeks prior to the commencement of Worlds indicates his intent to win the competition outright and, potentially, set a new World Record in the process.
Before the Storm
Nasar is a force. Since his IWF debut in 2019, he’s achieved more than many of his fellow weightlifters in a shorter period of time. His 220-kilogram unofficial World Record clean & jerk bests his 81-kilogram Junior and Senior records (208 kilograms each), the 89-kilogram Junior record (211 kilos), and is three kilos ahead of Pizzolato’s 89-kilogram Senior record as well.
However, Pizzolato isn’t the only obstacle barring Nasar from the top of the podium. The 89-kilogram class at Worlds will host several other athletes who can lift as much or more overhead, including Team China’s Tian Tao (the 2019 World Champion) and 96-kilogram Tokyo silver medalist Keydomar Vallenilla, among others.
The board is set. Judging by this lift, Nasar is more than ready to make his move. The 2022 World Weightlifting Championships begin on December 5.
Featured Image: @shturi on Instagram